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You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
                                                      -Mother Jones

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Wednesday January 20, 1904
From The Indianapolis News: Report from the Convention of the United Mine Workers

John Mitchell
John Mitchell, President
United Mine Workers of America
The Annual Convention of the United Mine Workers of America was called to order in Indianapolis by President John Mitchell on Monday. The entire text of the speech given by President Mitchell was published by the News along with this summary:
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANT MATTERS
DISCUSSED BY PRESIDENT JOHN MITCHELL

President John Mitchell this afternoon [Jan. 18th] delivered his annual report or message to the fifteenth annual convention of the United Mine Workers of America.

He made no reference to the question of advance or reduction in the present scale. He urged that the Indiana, Ohio and western Pennsylvania operators adopt the run-of-mine basis, as practically all other operators have adopted it.

He urged the scale committee to work for more nearly-equalizing differentials between pick and machine mining.

He advocated the abolition of present method of collecting per capita tax and substitution of the stamp system.

He laid before the convention an invitation to American miners to send representatives to the international mining conference in Paris in May, and said that representation should be limited to two delegates.

He condemned, in most vigorous terms, the employment of children in the mines and urged legislation barring boys under sixteen years.

He reviewed the strikes in six States, where approximately 14,000 miners are out at present.

He called attention to the fact that the organization of the United Mine Workers of America is now the largest and strongest single trades union that the world has ever known, asserting that if all per capita tax should be reported the total paid-up membership would be approximately 340,000. Under the present system only 287,000 are properly credited in good standing.

He gave a review of the successful work of the new organization department, in charge of Vice-President T. L. Lewis, and the effective work of the staff of organizers. The work and growth in different States was covered, together with the questions that have arisen concerning jurisdiction and the ruling of the A. F. of L. giving the U. M. W. of A. jurisdiction over all trades represented at the mines.

He urged support of the union label.

He advised that the miners bring pressure to bear that will cause the passage of the anti-injunction and the eight-hour day bills, now awaiting the vote of the United States Senate.

He commented on the peace that has prevailed during the year and on the better feeling existing among miners and operators in the anthracite and the bituminous districts.

[emphasis added]

We also found this portion of President Mitchell's speech to be illuminating:
In order that you may have concise and accurate information concerning our growth and membership during the last six year, I herewith submit a tabulated statement showing the average and also the aggregate membership for each year since I have been officially connected with the national organization.
These figures were given for the average yearly paid-up membership:
1897-9,731
1898-32,902
1899-61,887
1900-115,521
1901-198,024
1902-175,367
1903-247,240

Mitchel further explained:

These figures do not include any of our members who may be idle or on strike and thus exonerated from the payment of dues.

You will, of course, understand that the decrease in membership reported for the year 1902 is accounted for by the fact that the anthracite mine workers were on strike for five months of that year and were, therefore, not required to pay dues.

During the year 512 new local unions were organized, 27 reorganized and 173 surrendered their charters, leaving a net gain of 366. We now have 22 organized districts and a total of 2,322 local unions paid up and in good standing.

While our growth in membership has been very gratifying, I nevertheless consider it my duty to again call attention to the fact that no inconsiderable number of our local unions fail or refuse to report capitation tax to the national and district offices upon the full number of members paying to them. I have no hesitancy in saying that if every local union would report upon its full membership there would be not less than 340,000 members in good standing in our national organization.

SOURCE
The Indianapolis News
(Indianapolis, Indiana)
-of Jan 18, 1904

Note: since I tend to be critical of John Mitchell for his membership in the National Civic Federation, and also because Hellraisers Journal will very strongly side with Mother Jones in her coming break with Mitchell, I feel that it is only fair to give him much of the credit for the phenomenal growth of the UMWA under his leadership. Of course, we must also remember that Mother Jones was a leader among the UMWA Organizers during this period of phenomenal growth, and that the Organizers were the ones who were facing the gravest of dangers out in the field, on the front lines with the miners and their families.

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Monday January 20, 2014
More on Mother Jones and the dangerous job of organizing for the UMWA:

                                                                        St. Charles Hotel, Scranton, Pa.
                                                                         May 10, 1902
Mother Mary Jones,
Montgomery, W. Va.
Dear Mother:
     Your favor dated May 6th is received at Scranton...
     I am glad to note the progress that is being made, and I wish things were so that you could leave that field and give the boys a hand either in the Fairmont [field] or on the Norfolk & Western. I think the Fairmont would be the place in which you could do the most good, as the coal companies up there have evidently scared our boys, and of course, with good reason, as they have brutally beaten some of them. I dislike to ask you always to take the dangerous fields, but I know that your are willing to go wherever you can perform the best service; however, remain where you are for the time being...
     I think, Mother, that it would be advisable for you not to exert yourself as much as you are doing, and you should take a rest now and then, so as to recuperate your strength. We cannot expect to do all the work ourselves, or see it done even in our lives, and I hope that you will not destroy your health and usefulness in the labor movement by over exertion.
     With love and best wishes, I am,
                                                                                     Yours truly,
                                                                                     John Mitchell
                                                                                     President U. M. W. of A.

[emphasis added]

SOURCE
The Correspondence of Mother Jones
-ed by Edward M. Steel
U of Pittsburgh Press, 1985

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1937-Dan Hall

And while we hold our brother's hand
The Worker will never loose.

                        -Dan Hall & David Norris

Dedicated to:
The officers, organizers, members and families of the
                United Mine Workers of America,
 who fought and died to build the mighty union which went on to
 lead and support (with their hard earned money) the great CIO organizing drives
 which led to the great victories of 1937.
These brave men, women and children laid the wide foundation
  upon which victory was achieved.

Originally posted to Hellraisers Journal on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 11:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Shamrock American Kossacks, In Support of Labor and Unions, Anti-Capitalist Chat, and History for Kossacks.

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